One of the big questions we always get asked here at The Mobile Home Dealer is should the potential mobile home Buyer is looking to buy a mobile home within a land-leased community or a land-owned community.
As Americans, we are used to living in what many call a free country. Unlike other countries outside the continental US, we may count other things like self-representation as part of our normal lives. However, mobile home dwellers may not think of representing themselves as a big part of their housing choices. But what if a mobile home park is not owned by a single owner (or a company or family) and is instead, managed or owned by a co-op?
It might be an intriguing idea to some people including you. Could a mobile home park managed by a co-op provide a better living experience than those managed by private individuals, families, or companies? Fortunately for you, a mobile home park managed by a co-op is not a new thing so there is no need to worry about it.
What Is A Co-op Mobile Home Park
Co-op stands for Cooperative mobile home park. It is usually a type of non-profit corporation owned solely by the residents inside the park. A co-op could own more than one mobile home park in different locations. Basically, it’s a registered legal entity where residents elect fellow residents as their board of directors. It’s similar to HOA where directors review the park budgets and policies, sign contracts, and practically manage the whole park.
While both living options certainly have their pros and cons, we feel no one has dug deep to figure out the main details needed to be found before any potential Buyer buys in a land-owned or co-op mobile home park….until now!
1. What Is The Monthly HOA And What Does It Include?
Many times folks look to buy into a land-owned mobile home park to bring down their monthly living costs. While this is understandable we strongly suggest you understand not only what the monthly costs for the HOA include but, also, what it does not include. Many times we see mobile Buyers’ excitement get deflated prematurely when they find out that although the monthly fee may be low they do have to pay quite a bit of extra money for amenities that would be normally covered in a land lease community!
2. What Is The Cost Of The Share
This is the elephant in the room that rarely gets discussed.
Often co-op mobile home parks will not openly advertise what the share cost is of the park but, rather, focus on the cost of the actual home and the lower HOA payment. It is important that all Buyers fully understand what the cost is of a share and if it is required to buy as a member of the community. Knowing this number along with the price of the mobile home you are considering purchasing will help get you a much better idea of your total cost for the purchase of the share and the home itself.
3. Do You Own The Property
Some land-owned parks allow you to physically do what you wish with the land and some do not. Some mobile home parks only provide you a stock like a certificate that states you own a share in the park and that is all. Make sure if you are considering buying in a mobile home park you fully understand what you can and cannot do with the land that your home resides on so that you do not go into buying a share with the expectations of doing with your property as you wish only for it to not be the case.
Purchasing a mobile home park in a land-owned or co-op mobile home park comes with it quite a few benefits while at the same time some misunderstood downsides.
One of the major advantages of living in a co-op mobile home park is the lot rent.
When a park is owned by a private person, family, or corporation, the owner can just increase the rent based on the factors listed on the prospectus. Although a 90-day prior notice is always needed, still, 90-day is short if you are living from check to check and could find yourself in a difficult situation when the rent goes up.
In a co-op-managed park, however, the decision is not made by just a single person. The group can always discuss what amount is affordable to the majority without compromising the park’s budget is needed for increase.
Another reason why some people pick a co-op-owned park is due to long-term safety against land development. A private owner can just sell his or her land to developers if they think they can make a lot of profit. This can also happen in a co-op-managed park but it will be a long process and discussions, and you’ll have enough time to prepare as the co-op always considers its resident members’ interests first.
When considering purchasing a home in a co-op mobile home park, there are a few key things you should keep in mind.
First and foremost, it is important to remember that you are not purchasing the land the mobile home is sitting on – only the mobile home itself. This means that you will be subject to the rules and regulations of the co-op park, which may include things like quiet hours and restrictions on pets.
Additionally, you will be responsible for paying monthly fees to the co-op park, which go towards things like maintenance and repairs.
Before making any decisions, be sure to do your research and ask lots of questions so that you fully understand what you’re getting into.
We, here at The Mobile Home Dealer, stress to all of our clients to complete thorough research on exactly what is and what is not included in each one of the communities they are looking to purchase in so when the time comes to close on their new mobile home, they are well versed in all the details of the park they are buying in!
This is Mark Kaiser with The Mobile Home Dealer and we help mobile home Buyers and Sellers get to a better place in life.